Coloring Easter eggs was always a tradition in our family, usually the day before. Over the years my brothers and I developed a variety of techniques that not a lot of people seem to use or know about, using things like Scotch tape, sponges, and layers of clear wax crayoning. Above are some from 1991. For many years Ellen and I would decorate some at home and bring them up with us for family visits at Easter, but the last five years or so we decorate them at Ellen’s sister Ann’s house after we get there instead, along with the rest of Ann’s family, and then have a judging competition in various categories. It’s fun. We didn’t go up this year, though, as Ellen wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so we missed the egg dyeing this year.
At home, when we were kids, there were some other Easter traditions. Our mom would secretly make an Easter basket for each of us the night before, and on Easter morning we had to search the house for them. One memorable year my brother Doug was climbing up on the clothes dryer to look in the cabinet above when he accidentally turned on the dryer. Immediately there was a huge clatter from inside it, and my mom rushed to turn it off. His basket had been inside! Doug howled, but the rest of us had a good laugh, and helped him put it all back together, no harm done.
In the afternoon my dad would take all the dyed eggs and hide them around the yard for our Easter egg hunt, when we were usually joined by our cousins. This was fun, but sometimes he hid them TOO well. Several times I remember mowing the lawn a month or more later, hearing a crunch, and then having to run from the putrid odor of rotten egg as the mower found one left behind.
My brother Doug continues that tradition at his house, but with plastic eggs, each having a small prize or piece of candy inside. My niece and nephew and all their cousins and friends enjoy it. I often help hide the eggs.
Finally, there’s the egg eating, but before that another small bit of competition. Everyone would sit around the table with their favorite colored egg in hand, and take turns tapping points with a neighbor to see which egg would break. Unbroken winners would tap each other, until one egg had triumphed. Sometimes the winning egg was saved, sometimes not.
My family is of German heritage, and we always had our eggs with a little vinegar on them. Many people, including those who married into our family, thought that very odd, but I like it, personally. A bit like a pickled egg, I guess.
That’s the egg story in our family.